“Boy, they sure don’t make it easy on you.”
This is a direct quote from one of the customers I met with at IoT Evolution Expo. He was at the show earlier this year shopping for an IoT solution to implement at his Fortune 1000 company.
We Need More Case Studies & ROI
He mentioned that it was tough to identify solutions partners that could help him and his team pull all the necessary pieces of IoT together. A lot of the IoT discussion he heard, this man indicated, is inside baseball. Rather than IoT ecosystem players talking amongst each other about partnerships and technology, he suggested, they should deliver more case studies on what’s working and what’s not, and offer prospects return on investment details on their IoT solutions.
That said, I welcome you to contact me with case studies and ROIs that we can share in IoT Evolution. My email is email@example.com. My phone number is 203-852-6800 x114.
We Need More Complete Solutions
Following that conversation, I met with Steve Brumer, a partner with 151 Advisors, to ask what’s happening to bring customers more complete IoT solutions. We’ve all been talking for a while now about the fragmented IoT ecosystem, and how that makes it difficult and confusing for customers and prospects to decide on, purchase, and create IoT solutions.
So I asked Brumer whether there’s truly such a thing as a IoT one-stop shops, and what entities are delivering them. Brumer’s answer: Not as many players as you might think.
The big systems integrators like Accenture and PwC can bring it all together, he noted, and many of the communications services providers also bill themselves as one-stop shops. Platform companies in the IoT arena also have positioned themselves as one-stop shops, he pointed out. But, he asked: When was the last time you heard of a company like Sierra Wireless doing a total deal? Brumer suggested that the companies’ best bet often is still to go with an industry-vertical solutions provider for their IoT implementations.
For example, he said, companies like Honeywell or Otis would be good picks for smart business IoT deployments, and Rockwell or others along those lines for industrial automation applications.
That said, Brumer added that companies like Accenture and PwC as well as AT&T and Verizon have some good case studies and ROI stories. As IoT solutions providers tell their stories, what organizations need to know, he said, are things like:
• What does an IoT deal look like?
• Who’s supporting it?
• How’s it done?
• How is it charged for?
We Need Answers About IoT Security
I might add that businesses also need to ask: How is it secured?
Speaking of security, that has been another area that the IoT ecosystem needs to address. To our credit, those in the IoT space have been talking more about security lately, and I’ve been briefed by several companies that offer security solutions aimed at IoT implementations. But the fact remains that cyber security as it relates to IoT remains a very muddy area, with limited implementation and no clear rules, although the FCC and the FTC have been soliciting comments on it. (The CommLaw Group has been talking about the IoT legal limbo we now find ourselves in, and where IoT laws may be headed.)
We Need Leadership & More Education
IoT lacks security and other standards in large part because there’s no clear leader moving such efforts forward, and legislators are ill equipped to address these issues, Brumer said. So we need more education about IoT on Capital Hill, he said. In fact, he said, there are lots of places where we need more information and education about the IoT. For example, clerks that sell IoT solutions through retail channels like the Apple Store and Home Depot know surprisingly little about what they’re selling, he noted.
That’s sometimes true of IoT solutions sales people and sales channel partners as well. Businesses implementing IoT often also need help to ensure their IoT projects deliver the results they’re aiming for, said Brumer. That’s why some companies elect to bring in 151 Advisors representatives to act as interim IoT executives.
Edited by Ken Briodagh